Photo of author

By nclexnursing

When a person is unconscious, they are unable to respond to persons or activities. This is referred to as a coma or being in a comatose state by doctors.

Without being unconscious, other alterations in awareness can occur. These are referred to as altered or changed mental status. Sudden confusion, disorientation, or stupor are examples.

Any rapid change in mental status, such as unconsciousness, must be addressed as a medical emergency.

Causes of Unconsciousness

Almost any significant sickness or injury can produce unconsciousness. Substance (drug) and alcohol abuse might also cause it. Choking on an object can also render you unconscious.

Dehydration, low blood sugar, or temporarily low blood pressure are all common causes of brief unconsciousness (or fainting). Serious cardiac or neurological system disorders can potentially cause it. A doctor will determine whether or whether the person in question needs tests.

Other reasons for fainting include straining during a bowel movement (vasovagal syncope), coughing really hard, or inhaling extremely quickly (hyperventilating).

Symptoms of Unconsciousness

The guy will be deafeningly silent (does not respond to activity, touch, sound, or other stimulation).

After a person has been unconscious, the following symptoms may appear:

  • Amnesia refers to the inability to recall events that occurred prior to, during, or even after the period of unconsciousness.
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Inability to talk or move some bodily parts (stroke symptoms)
  • Lightheadedness
  • Control of the bowels or bladder is lost (incontinence)
  • a fast heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Heart rate is slow.
  • Stupidity (severe confusion and weakness)

If the person is unconscious as a result of choking, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Inability to communicate
  • Breathing problems
  • While inhaling, loud breathing or high-pitched sounds are heard.
  • Coughing that is weak and ineffectual
  • Skin tone is bluish.
  • Loud noises or light shaking will wake up a sleeping person. A person who is unconscious will not.

Stages of unconsciousness

  1. Full consciousness with some impairment
  2. Minimally conscious state
  3. Confusional state
  4. Vegetative state
  5. A coma

First Aid of Unconsciousness

Ask a few simple questions if someone is awake but not as alert as normal, such as:

What’s your given name?
What are the time and date?
What is your age?
Wrong answers or inability to answer the question indicate a mental health problem.

Follow these first aid actions if a person is unconscious or has a change in mental status:

Phone 911 or the local emergency number, or tell someone to call 911.

Frequently check the person’s airway, breathing, and pulse. Start CPR if necessary.

If the person is breathing and laying on their back, and you don’t suspect a spinal injury, lightly move them to their side toward you. Bend the top leg to a right angle at the hip and knee. To keep the airway open, gently tilt their head back. If the person’s breathing or pulse stops at any point, roll them onto their backs and start CPR.

Leave the victim where you found them if you suspect a spinal injury (as long as breathing continues). If the person vomits, roll them to their side with their entire body. While rolling, support their neck and back to keep their head and body in the same position.

Until medical assistance arrives, keep the person warm.

If you witness someone fainting, try to stop them from falling. Place the person on the floor with their feet raised about 12 inches (30 centimeters).

If low blood sugar is the cause of fainting, give the person something sweet to eat or drink only after they have regained consciousness.

If the victim has been unconscious as a result of choking:

Start CPR. Compressions of the chest may aid in the removal of the object.

If you find something loosely obstructing your airway, try to remove it. DO NOT attempt to grip the object if it is lodged in the person’s neck. The object may be pushed further into the airway as a result of this.

Until medical help arrives, keep performing CPR and checking to see whether the object has been released.


DO NOT abandon the person.
A pillow should never be placed beneath the head of someone who is unconscious.
To try to resuscitate an unconscious person, DO NOT hit their face or splash water on their face.

Read Respiratory sounds